DOZENS OF CANADIAN PUBLISHERS PROJECT AT LEAST A 40 PER CENT REVENUE HIT, SURVEY SAYS

Many Canadian publishers are expecting to see sales revenues slashed nearly in half this year as the COVID-19 crisis has made it harder for readers to find homegrown titles, a recent survey suggests.

Books are piled in this undated file photo. (Unsplash/Pexels)

A recent survey suggests that many Canadian publishers are expecting to see sales revenues slashed nearly in half this year as the COVID-19 crisis has made it harder for readers to find homegrown titles.

The Association of Canadian Publishers gathered data from 73 independent English-language publishing houses between Oct. 27 and Nov. 6 about the pandemic’s impacts on the industry.

Of the 61 firms that responded to a question about how the crisis has affected their bottom line, nearly half projected at least a 40 per cent drop in sales revenues compared to 2019. Ten per cent of publishers are bracing for losses of at least 60 per cent.

The trade association’s executive director says while book sales have bounced back since the initial shock of last spring’s shutdown, small- and medium-sized publishers are still struggling to make up for lost revenues.

Kate Edwards says these presses publish the majority of Canadian-authored books each year, but are struggling to generate buzz around their releases as COVID-19 restrictions have limited access to bookstores.

Edwards says the survey’s findings raise concerns about the sustainability of the domestic publishing sector and the future of Canadian storytelling.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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